Friday, 23 February 2018

Watch the trailer for Alex Garland's Annihilation



Not satisfied with announcing and releasing The Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl. Netflix will be streaming Alex Garland's Annihilation this March. The Ex Machina director's sci-fi thriller stars Natalie Portman and Oscar Issacs. Both actors are synonymous with the Star Wars franchise.

"Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity."



Garland has expressed disappointment at the studio's decision not to release Annihilation theatrically in all markets after a lukewarm test screening and a refusal to dumb down the trippy thriller.

Personally, the movie-going experience - outside of a Dolby Cinema - is increasingly subpar. From digital project foibles to cinemagoers incessantly chatting unless drowned out by a bombastic Dolby Atmos soundtrack. So, I'm looking forward to streaming Annihilation in 4K in the comfort of my own home. Popcorn at the ready...

Thursday, 22 February 2018

"Danger, Will Robinson!" Lost in Space first look



Netflix has announced when it will be streaming Lost in Space. This is a 10-part reboot of the cult classic sci-fi series from Irwin Allen, featuring music from legendary Hollywood composer John Williams, which aired from 1965 to 1968 on CBS.

Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination.

Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception. The unsettlingly charismatic Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but inadvertently charming Don West (Ignacio Serricchio) is a highly-skilled, blue-collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet.



After the middling movie reboot starring William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham and Mimi Rogers from the late 1990s. This looks like another home run from the fine folks at Netflix! Lost in Space joins House of Cards, Stranger Things and Star Trek: Discovery as must-see television.

Get Lost in Space this April!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

New Doctor Who logo revealed for Jodie Whittaker era



The new Doctor Who logo has been unveiled with a beautifully illustrated poster and trailer. The former evoking director Steven Spielberg's The BFG.

BBC Worldwide Executive Creative Director, Rafaela Perera said:

"The Doctor Who logo and insignia are the quintessential signifier for the brand. Our aim was to create modern and elegant designs that were anchored in the things that we love most about Doctor Who."

The trailer, including a snippet of the main theme, channels DCTV's The Flash and that's fine with me.



Official merchandise featuring the new logo is available at selected retailers. Do you like the new logo? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Murray Gold confirms Doctor Who departure



During Gallifrey One, the world's largest and longest-running Doctor Who fan convention, composer Murray Gold confirmed he's no longer working on the series. There has been speculation surrounding Gold's departure since Chris Chibnall was announced as the new series showrunner.

Gold has worked on Doctor Who since the series returned to television screens in 2005 with then showrunner Russel T Davies. He went on to compose music for 10 series with actors Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in the titular role. From Rose to Clara's theme, he's produced an impressive body of work. There is no news regarding his replacement.

Doctor Who returns to television screens this autumn with Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor Who. The actress and co-stars, Mandip Gill (Yasmin), Tosin Cole (Ryan) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), were recently seen filming in Sheffield.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ready Player One trailer has a T-Rex



A new trailer for Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One has been released and it brings the retro awesome. Oh, and a T-Rex from Jurassic Park!



The use of "Come With Me", from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, is inspired and poignantly speaks to Spielberg's love affair with cinema - a medium with which he is synonymous. Spielberg's latest sci-fi adventure evokes the director's Minority Report, which remains one of my favourite sci-fi thrillers, and not just because the protagonist is called John (Tom Cruise).

Rob Wainfur, friend and founder of The Bearded Trio, recommended I read Ready Player One. So, early in the year I bought the Kindle/Audiobook bundle in a sale and have listened to Wil Wheaton's pitch-perfect delivery on an Amazon Echo Show for that tech flourish. Plus, I can watch the trailers, too.

Ready Player One, starring Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, is in cinemas 29th March.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Blade Runner 2049 art director joins Star Wars



Director JJ Abrams is assembling his team for Star Wars: Episode IX, which is believed to begin principal photography this June.

Blade Runner 2049 was a visual feast and art director Paul Inglis will be bringing his world-building prowess to Star Wars: Episode IX according to Omega Underground. Inglis has also worked on Game of Thrones, Skyfall and Prometheus.

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi excel in the visual stakes and Episode IX could raise the bar even higher.

Very little is known about Abrams' final instalment in the sequel trilogy. The Force Awakens director took the helm in the wake of Colin Trevorrow's departure from the project.

Episode IX will be in cinemas December 2019.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Is the Crash annual a Crash Smash?



Crash magazine, dedicated to all things Sinclair ZX Spectrum, was a staple of the 8-bit computing scene in the 1980s with its memorable cover art by Oliver Frey. I would pore over reviews and adverts for upcoming titles in the school playground at lunchtime.

Crash was soon joined by sister publication Zzap!64 when I was gifted a Commodore 64 in the summer of 1985. Alas, an Atari 800XL, the Porsche of 8-bit computers, remained elusive and something I covet to this day.

Rob Wainfur, the founder of The Bearded Trio, reviews the recently released Crash Annual from Fusion Retro Books.

Can it evoke the retro feels ahead of the release of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One?

Guest post by Rob Wainfur

It's here! My Crash Annual arrived yesterday and it's everything I was wishing for.

I could have ordered the annual on its own but decided to go for the one with all the extras. Price is £15 for the book or £25 with the goodies. I really wanted that enamel "Crash Smash" pin badge.

The annual itself is of exceptional quality and the smell had that new annual smell. It instantly took me back to the early eighties when I would get a new annual for Christmas. The first thing I would do is sniff the pages. Memories...

Anyway, the book is packed with colour throughout and there are pages of reviews, cheats and... Well, you get the idea. It's a Crash magazine. I'm pleased to say they've not changed the format at all.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many new games there are for the good old Speccy. Did you know there is a new graphics engine for the Spectrum called Nirvana? It enhances the graphics and does away with the infamous Speccy colour clash. Modern games designed by fans now look like a top quality Commodore 64 game. It's worth checking out some of the new games on YouTube, I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised.

The other items in the pack were a 2018 calendar featuring classic Crash covers, another badge and a map of Ultimate's Pentagram illustrated by Oliver Frey. I can't recommend this enough. It may seem a little expensive but the quality shows, and I have a feeling that the book will become quite collectable in years to come.

Speaking of the book, it's published by Fusion Retro Books and I did not realise they have a series of retro books. There's one on the classic games company, Ocean. There's also one on the Commodore 64 and I've heard rumours there is a book on the way for Zzap!64 lovers. Stay tuned.

Graphics - 92%
Getting Started - 91%
Addictive Qualities - 93%
Value for Money - 85%
Overall - 92%

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Watch the first trailer for Venom starring Tom Hardy



Sony has released the first teaser trailer for Venom starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. The Spider-Man spin-off, focussing on the titular symbiote villain, is supposedly separate from Spider-Man and the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) at Disney.



It would be very surprising if Tom Holland's Spider-Man doesn't make an appearance. Holland can be seen as the beloved web-slinger in Avengers: Infinity War this April.

Venom is in cinemas this October.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Collider talks Star Wars with Rian Johnson at IMAX HQ



Collider hosted a 70-minute Q&A with director Rian Johnson to discuss Star Wars: The Last Jedi at IMAX HQ.

During the deep dive, Johnson discusses Star Wars fandom, the creative process and deleted scenes included on the upcoming Blu-ray disc.

It's fair to assume there'll be spoilers.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Star Wars trilogy from Game of Thrones showrunners



So, in addition to Rian Johnson's Star Wars trilogy, Disney's hiring Game of Thrones' David Benioff and Dan Weiss to create another new trilogy, independent from the Skywalker saga, at Lucasfilm.

“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”

“In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since,” Benioff and Weiss said in a joint statement. “We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.”

The Game of Thrones showrunners will be following Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) and Emelia Clarke (Qi'Ra) into a galaxy far, far away...

What do you think about another new trilogy? Let me know in the comments below.